As I type this, I am downing my second diet soda while hanging for a few hours at McDonalds. (For all those people who claim to "work from home", more power to you, but I can't seem to manage that on a very efficient level). I have a few (ok-2) part-time gigs that I do on a limited basis to bring in a little income and just keep busy. One is cleaning, as I have mentioned before, and the other is editing and creating publications for Release Ministries, the organization that we have been with for almost 7 years.
So as I sip my DDP and edit away, one letter in particular has been encouraging me with each round of changes. I think I am just inspired by the heart that is in it and also by the friendship that I have with the writer (who was our assistant house parent for our last year at the home).
So here it is- for your reading enjoyment.
State Your Qualifications, Please
The more I do this job, the more unqualified I feel. I was raised in a middle class family surrounded by people who, for the most part, were a lot like me. As a child, a teen, and even a young man, I didn't know what it meant to be "in the system". I had never even been to a group home or a detention center; not even for a visit. No one close to me ever went to jail. The only two forms of discipline I experienced were spankings and getting grounded. So what is it that qualifies me to do this job? I'm not a morning person (you know I'm cranky 'til I have coffee) and I'm not very good at cleaning my room...so I guess I have at least that in comon with more at-risk teens. Is that what qualifies me? Of course not!
I can come up with a few things that I am skilled at that make me somewhat good at this job, but if you want the main thing that qualifies me, it is that I am eternally connected to Jesus. He qualifies me. I know that I was God's enemy and through His Son, He reconciled me. Now I am His son and it's a miracle. When I meet these guys for the first time, I think my heart beats a litle faster with anticipation because this is possible for them. That's what qualifies me and you and every other person on this planet who is in a relationship with Jesus. Out of this real relationship with Jesus, ministry happens. I know it sounds cheesy, but I am going to say it anways- it's all about Jesus.
Speaking of being qualified for the job, that reminds me of a quote I heard earlier today. This guy in a video said, "Last I heard, God's still master at being God, so I'll just let Him." God drew me to this place and time. He drew each of the guys that live here at the house. At times it feels like there hasn't been a lot of spiritual growthand everybody's schedules seem to be packed. In the midst of the bustle, God is all-knowing,all powerful, and He is good. God is sovereign. I can't outschedule Him. I can't be a better counselor to the guys than He is. And even when I can't see, He knows each one of the guys, including me, inside and out. Knowing that takes a lot of the pressure off of me to perform.-
Hope that encourages you to love those around you for Jesus and eagerly anticpate their reconciliation! =)